The Edible Campus Program has partnered with local neighborhood gardens and stakeholders to find solutions to the vulnerabilities in our local food system. A major problem made aware during COVID-19 is how many families do not have a reliable food source to fall back on. Markets are unable to compete with the needs of the community during times of disaster, so it is essential to get our community members fresh and healthy produce while also promoting food sovereignty. Solving the problems in our local food system by creating long term solutions and resources is essential to supporting the local community in times of disasters.
The Edible Campus Program began a seed distribution program among UCSB students to engage students to grow their own produce. We have also partnered with Explore Ecology to safely distribute seeds through the Goleta Unified School District. Distributing seeds to families and students is the first step of food sovereignty as they now have the resources to begin growing their own fruits and vegetables and will have an extra food source during times of disaster.
We have cancelled our in-person workshops and volunteering events and will instead be hosting online webinars. Workshops and volunteering events were a great way to connect with our community, and we hope to create that same bond through our online webinars.
Who We Are
The Edible Campus Program aims to address local food insecurity by repurposing underutilized spaces for sustainable food production, turning waste into food, and engaging students as growers and producers. We train students in practices that address social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability and help them to reclaim their personal connection to the land and their food.
Our program started with the Urban Orchard, in which we planted 7 citrus trees in Storke Plaza. The Orchard was launched with the mentorship and financial support of the Johnson Ohana Foundation. The Hydroponic Vertical Garden Project was our second project to launch (Spring 2017) in partnership with the UCSB Recreation Center and the associated student governance board. The Student Farm, opened in February 2019, is a small scale farm at West Campus. The farm is a space that fosters community, as well as education, all while connecting students back to their food source and the land. All of the food grown at these three locations is harvested and distributed through the Associated Students Food Bank and the Miramar Food Pantry (food pantries serving students who are food insecure at UCSB).
The Edible Campus Program is a coalition of several groups. The Associated Students Department of Public Worms is the heart of our program, keeping all three growing projects running on a day to day basis and providing continuity for the effort. The Associated Students Food Bank distributes the food to students in need. UCSB Sustainability provides support with fundraising, development of new programs, guidance in working through the campus approval process and manages the education and outreach efforts of the Edible Campus Program. Volunteers from across the campus and the community ensure the continuation of this unique program.
Meet the Team
A glimpse of the passionate interns that create workshops, manage gardens, and are the backbone of the Edible Campus Program!
Kathy Chu- Service Learning Coordinator
I am Kat Chu, the Edible Campus Program Service Learning Coordinator. I have been with the Edible Campus Program for two years now and am a fourth-year Environmental Studies student. I have been leading volunteer events since high school and became really inclined to apply these skills to host Edible Campus Programs' Saturday Morning Live and Weekday Workdays. I love meeting new people and introducing students to the gardens. Other than that I spend my free time maintaining my houseplants and catching sunsets. I am currently growing carrots!
Kai Deguzman- Methodist Church Garden Coordinator
Hello! My name is Kai Deguzman. I am a current third-year student at UCSB studying Economics and Japanese. I began growing my own produce in a plot at the Greenhouse and Garden project with a close friend pursuing a career in botany. As time went on, I became interested in the impact of food growing and community gardens on upward mobility in our local Isla Vista community, so the opportunity to actually manage the University United Methodist garden was too good to pass up. I see the garden that I manage as a physical embodiment of our mission to support the students and long-term residents of Isla Vista. Aside from growing produce, I enjoy spending my time cooking, rock climbing, surfing, and reading detective fiction. My favorite thing to grow would definitely have to be bell peppers.
Noemy Carranza- Methodist Church Outreach Coordinator
Anthony Singh- Education Team
Hi, my name is Anthony (he/him). I’m a third year double majoring in Environmental Studies and Anthropology and I’m currently on Edible Campus Program’s education team. I joined ECP in order to both increase my knowledge about growing food and help other students learn as well. I’ve enjoyed my time with ECP as it’s allowed me to dive into the realm of food justice. I currently facilitate a food justice book club and lead an introductory gardening series with ECP!
Aubrey Chuen- Education Team
I was incredibly lucky to have grown up in my grandma’s and mom’s gardens. I spent a lot of time becoming familiar with the way the food transitions through life - from seed to sprout to plant to fruit or vegetable. I became friends with the various garden creatures in the soil and how the changing seasons affected the produce. Gardening was something I looked forward to each spring, and missed each winter. When I came to UCSB, I thought I would have to postpone my gardening habits until I had the right space, enough time, and the resources. Luckily, I found Edible Campus Program by chance and since then have been working with them directly to educate and create a community around foods that can be grown. This program has immensely changed my perspective on local food growth, and it is a goal of mine to continue learning!
For additional questions or giving opportunities, please contact: Katie Maynard 805-448-5111 or follow the giving link below.
Come get involved!